Patriot Act Updates

The Senate passed a six month five week (see update) extension to the Patriot Act. From the article:

With time running short on Capitol Hill, the Senate breathed new life late Wednesday night into the moribund USA Patriot Act, agreeing to extend it by six months. President Bush said he appreciated the move, but it was unclear if the House would approve it.

“No one should be allowed to block the Patriot Act,” Mr. Bush said in a statement, referring to a bipartisan coalition of senators who last week derailed a measure to update the act, the nation’s main antiterrorism law.

Apparantly Bush doesn’t believe in the constitutional process of passing or changing laws. We told you so, again and again.

The House has just passed a similar version, but not close enough to make it law. Let’s hope the House and Senate keep so busy squabbling over the terms of the bill that they won’t be able to stab us in the back with it once again.

The confusing news from the Patriot Act front comes from Bob Barr, who has been actively fighting the unconstitutional provides in the rape America Patriot Act.

Atlanta, GA — Former Congressman Bob Barr commended the House and Senate over their late night agreement to extend the USA Patriot Act for six months.

“I urge the Senate and House to use the next six month’s productively, to carefully consider changes to the Patriot Act necessary to bring it into balance with the Bill of Rights” Barr noted.

Barr also expressed concerns over the recent revelations that the President has ordered the NSA to engage in electronic surveillance of American citizens without court order and outside the laws governing such actions, which clearly highlights the need for these reforms and for aggressive oversight.

Barr welcomes this opportunity to spend the next six months working on common sense fixes to the more controversial sections of the Patriot Act and extends his gratitude to the Senators who stood for the Constitution in assuring these sections were able to receive the scrutiny they deserve.

Either he needs to clarify his statement, or I’m going to have to take back some of the nice things I’ve said about him lately.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: The PATRIOT Act extension was shortened to five weeks. That should be plenty of time to strip out the unconstitutional bits while appeasing the hawks in the interim.

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